Why not modern?

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Why not modern?

Post by Chris Servanti » November 23rd, 2015, 3:57 pm

What is the upside to using the Living Greek pronunciation vs. modern?

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 23rd, 2015, 10:06 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:What is the upside to using the Living Greek pronunciation vs. modern?
In switching from Modern to Restored Koine, 3 have been particularly noticeable.

The most important is that ἡμεῖς / ὑμεῖς and so on for their full inflections are differentiated for person. Another one is that σύ / σοί are differentiated for case. Thirdly, the third person singular subjunctives in -ῃ are easily differentiated from indicatives in -ει by sound now, as well as from syntactic context.

In anticipation of your follow-on question; the downside is that with my still poor pronunciation of the οι/υ sound, the accusative and dative plurals in -ους/-οις are sometimes confused, (and likewise, but with less of an impact on comprehension, the genitive singular and nominative plural forms in -ου/-οι).

Another downside is that with very few exceptions, nobody posting audio has really mastered it according to the specifications set out by Buth. That is not the case with a language used by a broad spectrum of people. The individual divergences are explained or excused with references to the natural diversity among speakers and reminders that the Koine must have had regional varieties and that it went through a number of transitions. Besides the non-production or non-standard production of certain phonemes, word-stress is a major issue. Are pronunciations like ἔπι, ἄπο and θέος variations or mistakes?

Notably, mistakes (variations) are less common in reading texts than in freely spoken utterances. Further, there are no freely available readings of the entire New Testament in the Restored Koine Pronunciation.

I also personally feel that the η sound makes the language - especially the endings of nouns and verbs - sound more beautiful. I think that attempting the change has been a worthwhile learning process.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Chris Servanti » November 23rd, 2015, 10:42 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:
Chris Servanti wrote:What is the upside to using the Living Greek pronunciation vs. modern?
In switching from Modern to Restored Koine, 3 have been particularly noticeable.

The most important is that ἡμεῖς / ὑμεῖς and so on for their full inflections are differentiated for person. Another one is that σύ / σοί are differentiated for case. Thirdly, the third person singular subjunctives in -ῃ are easily differentiated from indicatives in -ει by sound now, as well as from syntactic context.
Yah, I think the ἡμεῖς and ὑμεῖς are the greatest penalties, however context almost always clarifies it (Like in the Lord's prayer, the vocative is clearly singular and therefore ἡμεῖς/ὑμεῖς couldn't be the second person plural).

As for the σύ/σοί, both pronunciation system have this problem.

The third one is true, but

However, there are a lot of advantages for the modern pronunciation. A. It just sounds way better. B. It is way easier for English speakers. C. It gives speakers a real skill that they can carry over into Modern Greek. Plus, Modern pronunciation is the only one that we can actually verify.

I'm just trying to figure out which is the best decision, I can use both well and honestly they're not that different, but I still want to pick which one I prefer.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 23rd, 2015, 11:45 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:Another one is that σύ / σοί are differentiated for case.
As for the σύ/σοί, both pronunciation system have this problem.
:oops: I wonder what I was thinking of when I wrote that?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 24th, 2015, 3:21 am

There is a greater reliance in vowel patterns to understand the endings of words in Restored Koine than when using Modern, many of which reduce to mostly i i i.
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Chris Servanti » November 24th, 2015, 11:11 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:There is a greater reliance in vowel patterns to understand the endings of words in Restored Koine than when using Modern, many of which reduce to mostly i i i.
This is kindof true, but especially if you know whether or not a word is a noun or a verb, it should be pretty equal. And what's interesting is that ο contracts and ε contracts would sound the same and would be easier to recognize in modern.

But, if you really think about it, someone would already have to be trained to listen doggone well to understand any spoken Koine that wasn't a familiar phrase or passage. With that being said, I don't think which system is used would make a huge difference to recognition because they both have their advantages.

Stephen Hughes
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Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 24th, 2015, 5:17 pm

What do you want the pronunciation system to do for you?

Are you primarily wanting to listen to Greek and understand it, to speak it, or for remembering the spelling?
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Chris Servanti
Posts: 55
Joined: September 10th, 2015, 2:30 pm

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Chris Servanti » November 25th, 2015, 10:50 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:What do you want the pronunciation system to do for you?

Are you primarily wanting to listen to Greek and understand it, to speak it, or for remembering the spelling?
Yes - every asset of the Greek language: Primarily reading, then writing, then speaking, then listening.

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3332
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Why not modern?

Post by Stephen Hughes » November 25th, 2015, 1:02 pm

Chris Servanti wrote:Primarily reading, then writing, then speaking, then listening.
I imagine that for most people that approach acquisition in that order that statement could be represented by a pie-chart with proportions of 91% for that first sector and about 3% for those other 3. :lol:
Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Carlson
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Re: Why not modern?

Post by Stephen Carlson » November 26th, 2015, 8:41 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:What do you want the pronunciation system to do for you?

Are you primarily wanting to listen to Greek and understand it, to speak it, or for remembering the spelling?
This is the key question. I suggest that the best answer is to be understood by those you talk to. (If you're not talking to anyone, well ...)
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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